Thirty-three drivers were on hand to attempt to qualify for the 16 car Pro Nitrous field and the Mopar Viper of Billy “The Gov” Harper at 3.94. “Tricky” Rickie Smith qualified his 1963 Corvette third with a sub-four-second pass and opened eliminations with a win over the first three-second turbocharged Camaro of Pennsylvania’s Andy Jensen. He received a fortunate bye run in round two after Texan Thomas “Tom Slick” Myers was unable to make the call and then beat new teammate Shannon Jenkins in his Al-Anabi Firebird the semi-finals.
“I knew Charlie didn’t have the power to beat me in a heads-up race where everything went right, so I just had to do my job,” Smith said after he had gone 3.95 seconds at 187.65 mph. “It was my race to lose, but anything can happen when you’re racing these cars, so I just made sure I took care of business in my lane.” Smith was obviously referring to the fact that Carpenter has yet to record a sub-four-second run with his “Shoebox” ’55 Chevy.
Second generation driver/ engine builder Billy Glidden, from Whiteland, Indiana, started his small-block Ford-powered 2006 GTO from the top qualifying position in the Pro 10.5 class went on to beat Ellis Vial Jr., Matt Suite and Todd Moyer before staging up for the second time in as many final rounds against former record holder Steve Kirk Jr. in the Extreme 10.5 final for the second time in as many events. He also lowered the ET record formerly held by Kirk at 4.26 to a 4.222. There was some controversy over Glidden’s times with a least one racer suggesting that Glidden’s 10.5W tires were wider than the 11.5 maximum mandated by the ADRL. The ADRL measures tire width in this class on a regular basis. In this case Glidden’s tires had been ground down to meet the class spec and, according to ADRL’s Bubba Corzine, were no more that one-sixteenth of an inch out of tolerance. He also said the ADRL rule book will be changed effectively immediately to state that, “No tires that have been ground or buffed in any way or form will be legal for use in the class.”
The result in the final round was the same as it was in Virginia: Glidden beat Kirk with a record 4.222-second elapsed time at 169.53 mph, eclipsing the record time set by Kirk at Valdosta, Georgia earlier this year. Kirk, who had run a 4.26 earlier, ran a 4.422/175.98 and actually put a holeshot on Mr. Glidden but according to Kirk he accidentally left the line with the trans in high gear!